Firemen told the candidate a strike to the gas line made the fireplace a blowtorch.
Fire crews were called to 305 Windham Lane in the Williamsburg Plantation around 10 P.M. Thursday night after a lightning strike. The home is owned by Onslow County Commissioner candidate, Tommie Thomas. Thomas said the home is now being rented by a mother, who has children in the home.
During thunder and lightning storms overnight in the Jacksonville area, firefighters told Thomas a bolt hit a gas line. That, in turn, flipped two breakers and hit the gas line tapping into the home's fireplace. Thomas said the tenant grabbed an extinguisher and put out the blaze in the fire place, but fire crews still shut off the gas as a precautionary measure.
No one was injured in the brief house fire, while there is some repair work to do.
"Ultimately, I'm so glad that no one was injured," said Thomas. "And I'm glad to have a fast-thinking tenant, who made a quick response."
Damage to the home is estimated at $1,500, without electric work.